2012 was not a good year for green car maker Fisker, makers of the Fisker Karma, and the news isn’t getting any better. A new report reveals that Fisker hasn’t built a car in six months, which is troubling in and of itself. Even worse though, Fisker claims this is no big deal, because they have a “sufficient supply” of Karma hybrids on hand. So why is that bad?
It’s bad because it means demand for the Karma is low. Like, really, really low. With the bankruptcy of battery supplier A123 systems, Fisker was unable to purchase anymore batteries under a previous agreement with the defunct company, but that doesn’t seem to matter if nobody is buying the Karma in the first place.
To date, Fisker has sold about 2,000 Karma plug-in hybrids, which is respectable for a $100,000 vehicle to be sure. On the same token, Fisker lost 338 Karmas to Hurricane Sandy, has had to deal with battery recalls, fires, and a reshuffling of executives that has left investors skittish and the government skeptical. Fisker also cannot draw down on its large government loan for failing to meet production goals.
It seems as though Fisker’s only hope lies in China, where companies are falling over each other to get some of that sweet government cashola for electric and hybrid vehicles. As it stands, many Chinese companies lack the technology to produce these vehicles en masse…but Fisker is hoping to find not just investors, but a strategic partner in China. Of course, that means they’ll have to build the Karma and the upcoming Fisker Atlantic in China if they actually want to get those government incentives.
As it stands though, unless China proves as fruitful as Fisker hopes, we may be watching the beginning of the end of at least one green car company.